Thanks to a fundraising initiative organized by the staff members of the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM), patients at the facility who suffer from cystic fibrosis (CF) now have the possibility of improving their symptoms using state-of-the-art exercise equipment, with two new, modern exercise bikes to assist them in their ongoing physiotherapy.
Funding for the new equipment came from six of the members of the staff at UHSM’s Manchester Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center, who entered the Bupa Great Manchester Run last May and were able to raise more than £1,500 ($2,300). The funds were invested in two newer, smaller, more portable exercise bike models that replaced the old ones at the facility, and will now be used by CF patients.
“Although there’s no cure for cystic fibrosis, there are many treatments available to manage it, including physiotherapy and exercise,” said CF physiotherapist Emmeline Maidment-Fullard, who explained that the bikes are going to be a very important part of the treatment for the clinic’s CF patients. “A lot of our patients can be in the unit for several weeks at a time, and if they weren’t getting any exercise in that time, it would make the return to normal life harder.”
“Using the bikes will help our patients to build up their fitness and the new equipment also enables us to have a portable gym in the unit,” she added. “A lot of our patients have to be kept in isolation, so can’t exercise alongside other patients. The new bikes are much lighter and have no cables, so we can bring the gym to them.”
Maidment-Fullard went on to note that the staff observed the benefits of using exercise bikes and treadmills for CF patients. However, the old exercise bikes at the clinic were no longer practical, which delayed the benefits. Several CF patients at UHSM have low or even no body fat at all, and using the old device was uncomfortable, which discouraged patients to keep exercising.
Tom Hilton, a CF patient from Swinton, was among the first patients to use the new bikes and believes that the new systems will make a difference in his own treatment. “They’re smashing, so much better than the old bikes. When I use them, I feel myself getting more physical, even on a day-to-day basis. It’s definitely improving my lung function, I’m really opening up my airways,” he said.
“It also makes a difference knowing that when I can’t get to the gym, I don’t miss out on vital exercise, because they can bring the gym to me. It was a great effort by the team to do the run for the unit. They’re all fantastic, I can’t thank them enough,” Hilton added.
CF pharmacist Katrina Cox, one of the participants from the CF Center in the 10km race, explained that it was the purpose of the team to do something for their patients, as they faced the challenge of running, some for the first time at an event like that, and on one of the hottest days of the year. “It was a long, hot run, but we all really enjoyed it. The support we’ve had from family, friends and colleagues to raise such a large amount of money was incredible, and we’re so pleased that we’ve been able to do something special for our wonderful patients,” she said.